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Biden lays wreath in Shanksville, visits fire house

President Biden laid a wreath at the Flight 93 National Memorial Saturday after spending the the morning at the Ground Zero ceremony marking the 20th anniversary of 9/11.

Biden did not speak during the stop in Shanksville, Pa., where the fourth plane crashed after the passengers and crew took on the hijackers once they learned what had happened in New York.

Earlier in the day, former President George W. Bush and Vice President Kamala Harris took part in the official 20th anniversary ceremony at the memorial.

Along the way, the president stopped at the Shanksville Volunteer Fire Department, whose members were the first to respond when Flight 93 hit the ground.

President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden lay a wreath at the Wall of Names during a visit to the Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville, Pa.Evan Vucci/AP

“These memorials are really important,” Biden said. “But they’re also incredibly difficult for the people affected by them, because it brings back the moment they got the phone call, it brings back the instant they got the news, no matter how years go by.”

The Bidens visited Pennsylvania after a trip to NYC for the 9/11 anniversary.
The Bidens visited Pennsylvania after a trip to NYC for the 9/11 anniversary.
Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA
U.S. President Joe Biden talks with reporters outside the Shanksville volunteer fire station.
President Joe Biden talks with reporters outside the Shanksville volunteer fire station.
Jonathan Ernst/REUTERS

He praised the United Airlines Flight 93 passengers who fought the terrorists before the crash. “It’s one thing to say, ‘I know I should step up,’” the president said. “It’s another thing to do it. That’s genuine heroism.”

Biden also praised former President George W. Bush’s speech, which harkened back to the unity Americans displayed in the days and weeks after 9/11, and warned of the divisions that roil the country today.


Follow our 9/11 20th Anniversary coverage here:


“Are we going to, in the next four, five, six, 10 years, demonstrate that democracies can work, or not?” the president asked. He noted that some of the firefighters he visited with wore Trump hats.

Biden spoke about the “heroism” among the Flight 93 passengers.
Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA
Speaking about the anniversary, Biden also noted the importance of the memorials to remember the tragic day.
Speaking about the anniversary, Biden also noted the importance of the memorials to remember the tragic day.
Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA
Biden is next expected to visit the Pentagon for another memorial.
Biden is next expected to visit the Pentagon for another memorial.
Evan Vucci/AP

He mentioned recent a conversation with Chinese President Xi and his July meeting with Russian President Putin. He said autocrats think they’re the only ones who can succeed.

“We actually can, in fact, lead by the example of our power again,” Biden said.

He was scheduled to head next to the Pentagon, where he was to lay another wreath in memory of the 9/11 victims there.

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